A publisher and his authors

Partners in Progress – some recollections of the past quarter-century at 182 High Holborn was published privately for the friends of George G Harrap & Co. Ltd on their Diamond Jubilee in 1961. (One Smart’s Place has since 1985 stood on the former site of their premises.)

The first contribution is by Joyce Lankester Brisley, including this:

“As illustrator as well as writer I was probably doubly “difficult”! I remember in the publishing of the first edition of my Milly-Molly-Mandy Stories I was not satisfied with the printing of some of my drawings, feeling that the art department had reduced them unnecessarily, blurring the detail. At my own expense I had entirely fresh blocks made, though no one else seemed to think the matter of such moment. But it was cause for thankfulness, later on, when those same blocks were getting worn-out with constant reprinting and all the original drawings were burnt during the blitz, that those fresh plates were clear enough to allow a printing to be made from a first-edition copy for much later editions.

So it does, it seems, in the long run, pay to be sometimes “a bit difficult” and hard to please!”.

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